By: Ron Moore
October came a little early this election season. It is conventional wisdom that the party in power will stir up a crisis just in time to bolster its candidate’s standing in the polls. So now we find that Wall Street is in crisis and needs an immediate bailout. Oh and by the way that will be $700 billion please (at the bare minimum) and there’s no time for oversight and questions. The good of the country is at risk and who wants to be against the good of the country?
Sound familiar? Just think back to the Patriot Act, the War on Terror, the Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. No need to read the fine print at risk of appearing unpatriotic. Do what we say and don’t ask any questions. After all, we have the good of the country at heart and it will all work out just fine in the end. Well we don’t know the end of that story but we certainly know it’s not going to work out fine. We can’t even be sure this crisis isn’t a distraction as the President prepares for the real October surprise in Iran.
The President has made it clear that we are at war and that this is a time of sacrifice. So as our poor and elderly shiver this winter they can do so with pride for we just can’t afford that extravagant energy assistance program. Whether its programs to educate and feed our children or support the troops as they and their families attempt to rebuild their lives when they return it’s just too expensive during a time of war.
But while they wait in line at the velvet rope of appropriations, Wall Street took the express lane right to the front. You see when they suffer we all suffer and we can’t allow that to happen. Or can we?
Well as someone running for political office is fond of saying, “Yes we can!” So Congress has another bite at the apple, another opportunity to do its job. It’s simple, just say no. Say no to the Wall Street Bailout.
But don’t stop there. Once Congress finds its courage, it can say no to the continued occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq that has cost this country $556 billion and counting according to the National Priorities Project. Say no to the war profiteers. Say no to the continued entitlement spending for the richest one percent known as the Bush tax cuts.
Congress should look at this $700 bailout request and ask itself one simple question: What would $556 billion do to bolster our economy? What did that vote to fund the occupation take away from our citizens at home? How much more will we need to spend just to recover? The amount is unknowable, but we do know this, by saying no today we can stop the bleeding (literally) and begin to rebuild. Congress can go home and say that the needs of the American people matter and open up that velvet rope. Now that would be a true October surprise.